The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 30 The City To The East Of The Bank

Lombard Street

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B. FROM THE BANK TO ALDGATE VIA LOMBARD STREET. LOMBARD STREET, the proverbial wealth of which is indicated in the phrase 'All Lombard St. to a China orange,' has for centuries been one of the chief banking and financial centres of London. It derives its name from the 'Lombard ' money-lenders from Genoa and Florence, who during the 13-16th century took the place of the Jews in this profession. To the right is St. Mary Woolnoth. In Post Office Court, adjacent, is the Bankers' Clearing House, an association established in 1755 (about to remove to King William Street). The mutual claims of the several banks against each other, in the form of cheques and bills, are here compared and the differences settled by cheque on the Bank of England. There are four clearances daily, at 9 a.m., 10.30 a.m., noon, and 2.30 p.m., the last being the most important. In 1924 the total amount of the clearances was �39,532,864,000. In that year the bank clearings in New York amounted to circa �47,000,000,000, in Chicago to �6,236,000,000. To the left is the church of St. Edmund the King and Martyr, completed by Wren in 1690 (open 11-3). It is orientated north and south, with the altar at the north end. Joseph Addison was here married to the Dowager Countess of Warwick on Aug. 9th, 1716. The church was struck by a bomb on July 7th, 1917, but was restored in 1919. George Yard (left) leads to the George, and Vulture and St. Michael's Alley. On the same side, but standing back from the street (archway between Nos. 52 and 45) is All Hallows (open 11-3.30, except on Saturday), known from its position as the 'Church Invisible.' It also was built by Wren (1694) and contains some good woodwork. The elaborately carved gateway is now preserved inside the porch. On the opposite side of the street (between Nos. 35 and 37) is Plough Court, where Alexander Pope (1688-1749) is said to have been born. Lombard St. ends at Gracechurch Street, leading north to Leadenhall St., and south to the statue of William IV. The name may be a corruption of 'Grass Church,' due to the grass or hay market held in the yard of the former church of St. Benet, at the corner of Fenchurch Street.